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Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and pre-kindergarteners all have a special place at our preschool and we love working with the families of Clive and Waukee to provide children the very best daycare and early educational experiences. Previously known locally as Apple Tree Children’s Center, the preschool center at Cadence Academy Preschool, Clive has six classrooms and we constantly customize each room to address the development needs of every age group.

Our Programs

NAEYC Accreditation

NAEYC Accreditation LogoOur staff is committed to best practices in the care and education of children and we’re proud to hold accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC accredited child care centers must promote positive relationships for all children, teach from a curriculum that fosters all areas of a child’s development, and provide ongoing assessments of each child’s learning and development so that families know how their child is progressing.

Our Preschool’s Philosophy

Ascend CurriculumWe believe children learn best when they feel safe and secure in their learning environment and genuinely excited about the activities they’re engaging in. Our caring teachers all utilize the Ascend Curriculum, which develops your child’s intellectual, social-emotional, and creative abilities through an engaging skill-based approach.

We progressively introduce important skills in nine different subjects through fun educational activities, but what makes these activities special is that they are designed to be modified to fit the interests and current skill level of each child, which makes learning more engaging and fun!

Family Involvement

We believe that children thrive when families partner with us in their child’s care. We’re always available to talk about your child’s progress and offer a variety of communication pieces to keep you informed about your child’s day and academic progress. We also work closely with Waukee Community School District to understand elementary school expectations to ensure that your child is prepared for the transition to kindergarten.

We have a number of events throughout the year so you can meet other families at our school and to get to know our Cadence Academy family better too! Some of our favorite events are our Family Picnic, Fairy Tale Ball, Thanksgiving Luncheon, Ice Cream Socials, and Iowa vs Iowa State Day.

Getting to our Preschool

Cadence Academy Preschool, Clive is located at 14300 Hickman Road in Clive, Iowa, 50325. We are across from the CVS on the corner of 142nd St and Hickman Rd and share facilities with Heartland Presbyterian Church. We proudly serve families living in Clive, Waukee, Urbandale, and West Des Moines. Contact us to schedule a visit today!

Our Team

Crystal Sebben

Crystal Sebben

School Director

I have been the Director at the Cadence Academy Preschool, Clive since March of 2005 and have been with the company since January of 1998. Cadence Academy Preschool is committed to accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) as measurement of our program excellence. What does this mean to your family? Its means we are dedicated to going above and beyond to find best practices in educating and caring for your child. Our school has six different classrooms that approach learning, development and education using The Creative Curriculum. The Creative Curriculum identifies goals in four areas of development including: social/emotional, physical, cognitive and language for newborns through pre-kindergarten. We also work closely with Waukee Community School District to understand the expectations to make sure your child is as prepared as possible for the transition to kindergarten. Family involvement and communication are significant to a successful partnership between home and school. Teachers are available for face to face as well as by phone during the day. A multitude of events throughout the year provide opportunities for you to meet other families enrolled in our school and get to know our entire Cadence Academy family. Some of our favorite events are: the family picnic, our fairy tale ball, the Thanksgiving luncheon, ice cream socials and Iowa vs. Iowa State day! Thank you for your interest in Cadence Academy Preschool. I look forward to showing you our outstanding school and introducing you to our extraordinary teachers.

Darci Kuhns

Darci Kuhns

Assistant Director

Welcome to Cadence Academy! I am originally from Northwest Iowa, where I was raised on a small farm. After high school I furthered my education at Buena Vista University. In 2003 I graduated BUV with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and a minor in Business. I joined the Cadence Academy Team in July of 2004. In 2007 and 2013 I was honored to be chosen as a recipient of the Terri Lynne Lokoff National Child Care Teacher Award. I enjoy working with the little ones as they grow and develop so much in their first year. Outside of Cadence Academy, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our 2 children.


NAEYC Accreditation

Every child deserves access to high-quality early learning experiences. NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) has set 10 standards for early childhood programs that can help families make the right choice when they are looking for a child care center, preschool, or kindergarten. The standards and criteria are also the foundation of the NAEYC Accreditation system for early childhood programs. To earn NAEYC Accreditation, schools must go through an extensive self-study and quality-improvement process, followed by an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to verify and ensure that the program meets each of the ten program standards, and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria. NAEYC-accredited programs are always prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts for five years. In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC—less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition.

Reviews from Parents

4.9 Rating based on 144 Reviews Leave A Review
Rebekah Johnson • Google
Our son has gone here since he was 4 months old, and we absolutely love it. The teachers are great with the kids, keeping them entertained with lessons and activities. They keep the parents updated on the daily activities as well. Darci and Crystal are amazing, very friendly and always helpful. We are sadly moving away and praying we find a daycare as great as this place.
Kamal Prajapati • Google
Excellent daycare in the entire IOWA for sure. Everyone is great at this facility. Ms Crystal, Darci and Karla were our favorite. They all took great care of our 2 boys. I highly recommend this Heartland location at 14300 Hickman Rd!
Nivea Sharma • Google
Great place for kids my son talks a lot , he has learned a lot . We feel safe leaving our children here they are in good caring hands all teachers who have taken care of our kids are exceptional
Timothy Monner • Google
We have only been at Cadence academy for a few months, but it already feels like home. The entire staff is warm and welcoming, and you can tell the teachers really care about your child's personal experience and progression through the curriculum. Our 3 year old had a few rough weeks at drop-off when transitioning from her old daycare, and the staff and teachers really made an extra effort to make her feel at home and to give us assurance around how she was doing throughout the day. So far so good!

Cadence Academy Preschool

Clive, IA

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Preparing Your Child to THRIVE

Your child is unique, and we are happy to provide an educational, fun and nurturing environment where each child can develop and thrive in order to build a bright future with unlimited possibilities.